Typhus - Gift of Contagion, Gift of Plagues
Malignant Plaguecaster - Miasma of Pestilence, Putrescent Vitality
3x3 Deathshroud Terminators
10x Blightlord Terminators - Two Flails, Two Blight Launchers
Foul Blightspawn - Viscous Death, Revolting Stenchvats
Tallyman - Tollkeeper
Mortarion - Gloaming Bloat, Curse of the Leper, Miasma of Pestilence, Plague-wind
BATTALION DETACHMENT - WORLD EATERS
HQ 1: Daemon Prince of Khorne [WARLORD - Violent Urgency, Talisman of Burning Blood]
HQ 2: Kharn the Betrayer
HQ 3: Lord Discordant [Baleflamer]
Troops 1: Khorne Berserkers x5 [Chainaxe and Chainswords, Power Fist, Icon of Wrath]
Troops 2: Khorne Berserkers x5 [Chainaxe and Chainswords, Power Fist, Icon of Wrath]
Troops 3: Khorne Berserkers x5 [Chainaxe and Chainswords, Power Fist, Icon of Wrath]
Troops 4: Khorne Berserkers x5 [Chainaxe and Chainswords, Power Fist]
Troops 5: Chaos Space Marines x5 [Chainsword and Bolt Pistol]
Troops 6: Chaos Space Marines x8 [Chainsword and Bolt Pistol]
Fast Attack 1: Warp Talons x5
Dedicated Transport 1: Chaos Rhino
Dedicated Transport 2: Chaos Rhino
Dedicated Transport 3: Chaos Rhino
SUPER HEAVY AUXILLARY DETACHMENT - WORLD EATERS
LOW 1: Greater Brass Scorpion of Khorne
Today I decided to bring my other favourite army that isn’t Tyranids, my World Eaters! I love these guys, have a blast playing them even if they aren’t the most competitive faction out there right now, as the combat phase is the best phase! And not only that, today I’ve brought out the big guns: the Greater Brass Scorpion of Khorne! I’ve never used him in 9th edition before and with the changes to Super Heavy Auxiliary Detachments being a thing, I thought I may as well give him his time in the spotlight.
Looking at Joe’s list, one thing immediately stands out to me: his Foul Blightspawn. He has the Revolting Stench Vats relic, and this thing can seriously shut down my entire army. I’m either gonna have to kill him ASAP, or try my best to play around that 6” bubble of his.
For my secondaries today I’ve gone for Stranglehold, Assassinate and Priority Target. Both Stranglehold and Priority Target stand out to me for obvious reasons, I’m going to want to hold 3 objectives this mission anyway, and this mission secondary is as close to an autotake as possible. I also went for Assassinate as Joe has a lot of characters, including Mortarion, that can really dish out some damage, so I’m going to need to do my best to kill them anyway.
I haven’t played against Liam’s World Eater’s since… Well, I honestly can’t remember the last time. And I certainly haven’t ever played against the big boy that is the Brass Scorpion… I have to say, that thing is an amazing model with such an imposing look! Liam’s list is a deviation on the standard melee rhino-rush, with the inclusion of that big heavy hitter and most of his melee being berserkers meaning they hit like sledgehammer. With both of us investing around 500pts in a single model, first turn is going to be rather clutch here. Fortunately for Liam, I have much less shooting in my 500pts than he does, so if I get first turn it’ll be more about positioning than anything else.
Secondaries wise, I went into this knowing I would likely need to be aggressive and try to grind out the first few turns where Liam’s damage output would still be exceptionally high. To that end, I went with Spread the Sickness. Priority Targets is an easy pick… Because it’s a bit silly. And finally, Strangehold on a 5 objective mission is never a bad idea.
The Mission and Board
Grand Tournament 2021 - 33: Priority Targets
Area Terrain (Ruins)
Scaleable, Breachable Light Cover, Defensible, Obscuring
Area Terrain (Hills)
Scaleable, Breachable, Light Cover, Obscuring
Area Terrain (Crater)
Dense Cover, Light Cover, Difficult Ground
Liam's World Eaters
Joe's Death Guard
Won Deployment Roll-Off - Liam
Picked Deployment - Liam
First Turn - Death Guard
Joe’s army has very little when it comes to anti tank firepower, so I don’t have to think too hard during my deployment step. The Scorpion is out in the open ready to open fire on Mortarion, and all my Rhinos are ready to move up and deploy my Berserkers when I need them.
Liam’s shooting is mostly invested in one model, but the threat can come from an opportunistic turn 1 charge with the WE stratagem Apoplectic Frenzy. Towards that end, my deployment was rather simple. Terminators hiding inside the large L blocker, with the Foul Blightspawn screening both them and Mortarion. On the wings, Poxwalkers spread out in nice long lines to screen my deployment and be ready to push up as fast as possible!
Tallyman scores me a CP.
With the initiative, I really need to push up hard here. I made my first huge mistake here, and I think if I hadn’t, I would have been a much easier game. A lot of the damage from Liam’s scorpion comes from it’s 12’’ flamers… Mortarions ability to shut off rerolls (such as Demonforge) is natively at 9’’. My plan had been to push Mortarion up to the middle objective, surrounded by the Foul Blightspawn to make him more or less unchargeable… Both of which I managed to pull off, with a clutch advance roll of 6. My Terminators pushed up into the large L-blocker, which is more than an 1’’ thick making them safe until next turn. On the flanks, my Poxwalkers push up hard and a single unit of Deathshroud expose themselves to claim the top objective. My backfield Poxwalkers spread some sickness for my first points of the game!
Here, dear reader is where I made my big mistake. Typhus attempted to put Gift of Plagues onto Mortarion, maxing the Gloaming Bloat out at 12’’ and making Liam’s flamers much less dangerous into him… Unfortunately, this was before I had remembered Demonforge was a thing, and after failing the save, decided it probably wasn’t worth the reroll. The rest of the psychic phase was rather uneventful. Miasma on Mortarion, Putrescent Vitality on the exposed Deathshroud to make attacking them a less appealing target.
Into shooting, and I managed to do a grand total of… Nothing. Mortarion fires the Lantern at the Scorpion, but fails to wound, and with him being the only thing in range?
Counting out points at the end of my turn, I get 3 points for all my secondaries thanks to holding three objectives and more than Liam… I really do feel like Stranglehold shouldn’t be scorable in the first turn if you go first.
We go swiftly into Liam’s turn 1.
So Joe has moved up the board and, as predicted, his Turn 1 shooting capabilities were nothing to worry about. However, I do know that when you stack the buffs on those Blightlord Terminators, their combi bolters can actually put out a lot of damage, so I play conservatively with the Scorpion. I move him right into the big L blocker, and thanks to the heights of both models, he can still see Mortarion, but the Blightlords will struggle to get line of sight onto him next turn. I move one of the Rhinos up to contest the middle objective, and move another one of the Rhinos on the flank up next to the objective along with a unit of Chaos Space Marines. The Lord Discordant stays hidden and within 6” of the Scorpion to grant him his buff, and the Daemon Prince holds back in-case Joe decides to deepstrike behind my lines with his Deathshroud Terminators.
Onto the shooting phase, and I immediately spend 1 CP on Daemonforge on the Brass Scorpion; this kicks his damage output up to 11. I fire absolutely everything I can into Mortarion, and after the dust settles and Joe spending a CP to reroll a saving roll, Mortarion is left on a measly 4 wounds remaining! Although I am upset that I didn’t manage to kill him outright, as that would’ve secured me Stranglehold, but at least I’m denying him 15 on the Primary with that Rhino on the centre objective. I also opt not to shoot the Poxwalkers with the combi bolters that I have: I wouldn’t have wiped the squad with them, and if Joe decides to spend the CP on The Dead Walk Again, it can get him an extra few inches on movement that could get him onto the objective even faster.
No charges to be made yet, so I end my turn and pass it over to Joe.
Tallyman scores me a CP.
Liam’s turn was about as conservative as mine, but the time for the showdown was nigh. Mortarion being left badly injured was expected, and I’m really feeling that mistake I made. The flamers were a sizeable amount of Liam’s damage that I would have much rather not taken. I know going into this turn, it’s going to be a clutch one. Either I lose my 500 point model with him having done nothing, or I make a long charge into the Scorpion… It’s all to play for now.
Mortarion puts his reroll on himself. Tallyman’s aura goes on the Blightlords.
Mortarion uses his injured movement and gets within 10’’ of the Scorpion, a long charge, but not impossible. Liam’s Rhino in the centre needs dealing with first however. My Deathshroud all begin their advance, with a mix of rolls that gets them roughly where they need to be, threatening the centre. My Blightlords move out from behind the building, ready to unload their bucket of dice onto the Rhino and whatever falls out. On the bottom flank, my Poxwalkers push up and continue to just be a nuisance for Liam’s Rhino, move blocking it between the hill and small blocker. One of my units of Deathshroud do Spread the Sickness on the middle objective… Manage to roll a 3 and one of them explodes, preaching Nurgle’s glory.
Into the psychic phase, and I make sure to not make the same mistake this turn. Miasma goes onto Mortarion, and Putrescent Vitality onto the same unit of Deathshroud. Typhus vomits some suitably plague’y words into the air and puts Gift of Plagues onto Mortarion. This is massive as it means the range of Gloaming Bloat is now 12’’, meaning the Scorpion cannot Overwatch. After that, some incidental mortal wounds leave the Rhino on 6 wounds.
Into the shooting phase and we only really have one target. The Foul Blightspawn uses Overwhelming Generosity and aims his flamer at the rhino, rather easily melting it to sticky mucus. The Marines inside all jump out, but unfortunately can’t reach the wall for safety. The Blightlords level their guns at them and with the use of Virulent Rounds and Foetid Whispers, kill them to a man.
Into the charge phase, and it’s the big one… Mortarion needs a 10’’ to make it into the Scorpion… And he manages it! Rolling an 11’’ charge, he raises Silence above his head and brings it crashing down onto the Demon Engine’s… Head?... Cannon-Mouth? Thanks to his aura rerolls and plague weapon, the 5 attacks he has remaining all go through… And Liam fails every save. Silence should average 25 damage in this situation, but I roll a little below average and only manage 22. It’s still more than enough, taking a massive chunk out of the Scorpion, and leaving him on bottom profile. Thanks to the Gloaming Bloat preventing rerolls, and the degrading profile of the Scorpion, on his strike-back the Scorpion doesn’t manage to do anything in return.
This leaves Liam in a tricky spot with a 12’’ no reroll aura hanging out in his lines, meaning he has to kill Mortarion… Not an easy task at this point.
Score wise, I pick up another 3 points on all of my secondaries.
Now that was gut wrenching. Not only did Joe manage to kill the Rhino and all the Marines inside, which was expected, but he made a 10” charge into the Scorpion, passed every single roll, and I failed every save. My Scorpion went from having a healthy 28 wounds, to 6. And thanks to Mortarion casting Miasma of Pestilence and his warlord trait denying any aura buffs on the Scorpion, I fail to do any damage when I swing back. Daemonforge also wouldn’t have helped, as his Contagion prevents me from rerolling any hit or wound rolls when I’m within contagion range of him.
Oh well! I fall back with the Scorpion ready to do what little damage I can now, and ready to charge back into him if he somehow survives. My Lord Discordant moves towards Mortarion too just in case, and the Rhino at my rear moves up into the big L blocker. 5 of my Berserkers disembark on the objective ready to charge some Poxwalkers, and the Daemon Prince moves up behind them preparing for a turn 3 charge into something tasty.
End of the movement phase I also bring in my Warp Talons down to pressure Joe's Priority Target. If they make this charge, it could be huge for me, as it would force Joe to move something back to retake it.
Shooting phase arrives, and with the combined might of the Scorpion and the Lord Discordant, I manage to bring down Mortarion! But the damage has already been done. He’s crippled the Scorpion for the rest of the game and that’s a massive point sink that has lost a lot of efficiency.
So the charge phase arrives, and even with a CP spent on the reroll, the Warp Talons fail the 9" charge. This really sucks... having them in would've secured me 5 points on Priority Targets, and denied Joe 5 on the Primary, as well as forcing him to move a unit back to deal with them on the objective.
On the bright side, my Berserkers charge into the Poxwalkers and, as predicted, they are just obliterated from the face of the earth. Neat! But that’s the end of the turn, and I have still yet to score any points on Stranglehold. Maybe it wasn’t the best pick this game…
Tallyman scores me a CP… Again
Liam’s turn went well for me, I’ll admit. The Warp Talons failing their charge meant I didn’t need to wheel my army around. Mortarion dying was expected, and a sprinkle of mortal wounds litter the area from his explosion. The Scorpion might be wounded, but it’s still rather far back.
The Terminator’s endless advance continues, getting line of sight onto the Scorpion. Noting that Liam still has a Rhino filled with Berserkers, my top Deathshroud retreat swiftly, but still on the objective. The rear Poxwalkers advance towards the Warp Talons to bring them down. I’m rather conservative with my movement this turn, and I have really achieved my objectives. Take and hold 3 objectives, and with the Scorpion hopefully soon to be dead, I don’t have to do more than that!
Psyhic phase is rather uneventful. The Plaguecaster drops both spells on the top Deathshroud, Typhus throws a smite into the Warp Talons and kills two.
Shooting phase and the Blightlords pop the combo of Virulent Rounds and Vermid Whispers to pour their shots into the Scorpion and bring it down despite the thing being T8.
Charge phase, the Poxwalkers charge into the Warp Talons!
Fighting first, and with Typhus’ aura on them, the Poxwalkers manage to bring down the Warp Talons and replenish their own ranks from damage they took in their turn 1 Spread the Sickness.
Ouch! Losing the Scorpion unfortunately was expected, but I still have other units to use, and Kharn is still eager to fight! He runs up ready to charge the Blightspawn: the sooner I get rid of those Stench Vats, the better! I move a Rhino up to get some more board presence in the other corner of the board, and the Daemon Prince advances up with the Berserkers ready to charge into the Terminators.
Shooting comes and goes, I only have a few combi bolters that just plink off the Death Guard’s armour, so straight into the charge phase. And oh boy, it goes terribly. Kharn declares a charge into the Foul Blightspawn, and before he can even make it into glorious combat, Joe Overwatches and just annihilates him with that flamer of his. And to rub salt in the wound, only my Daemon Prince passes the charge into the Terminators. He fights and manages to remove a couple, but is annihilated in the attacks back. I score no points on any of my secondaries outside Priority Target, so this is looking to be a rough game. Over to Joe!
You know the rest.
With Liam having limited resources left, I am now playing cleanup duty for the most part.
The Deathshroud in the north push hard, levelling their flamers into the berserkers and killing them to a man, before lining up a charge. I’m not sure, but I think Liam forgot that Deathguard now ignore the crater movement penalty, making the charge rather short. In the south, the terminators move into the rhino, hoping to get onto the objective but not quite managing it. Typhus pushes hard along with them, although I realize too late that I've left him out of position with one flank exposed for a possible side-swipe from Liam.
Charge phase, and the Deathshroud make it onto the Berserkers, tearing them apart thanks to their high AP, 2D attacks. In the south, the Terminators rip apart the Berserkers.
So turn 4 rolls around, and I just have so few resources left to even have a chance at winning this game. But any true World Eater player wouldn’t take this defeat lying down! I move up everything, ready to charge into glorious melee combat! The Lord Discordant moves up to the Deathshroud at the top of the board, the Berserkers disembark from the Rhino to eye up Typhus, and the Berserkers that survived from the destroyed Rhino move up to try and get stuck into that Malignant Plaguecaster at the back to score me some Assassinate points.
Straight into the charge and fight phases, my Berserkers charge into Typhus and my Lord Discordant charges into the Deathshroud. Unfortunately the other unit of Berserkers fails their charge into the Plaguecaster, so I just write them off at this point. I fight first with the Berserkers, spend a CP on Wild Fury to increase the AP of all my attacks by 1, and manage to bring Typhus down with a flurry of Chainaxe strikes! The Lord Discordant suffers from damage from an interrupt, but is also successful in wiping the rest of the Deathshroud that he charged. Unfortunately, thanks to being able to heroically intervene with the Blightlord Terminators, I lose the Berserkers in retaliation to killing Typhus. Lets see if I can survive into turn 5!
Liam is trying to score points right to the last, which is really what you need to be doing in times like this. In my turn it’s fairly simple to finish off his Lord Discordant and Rhino, but the Chaos Marines I'm forced to leave on the objective.
I charge the Poxwalkers into the Berserkers, and disastrously I don't manage to kill them! They destroy them all when they swing back, so let's see what Liam can do with them.
I’m alive! But barely. I only have 5 Chaos Space Marines and 2 Berserkers left, so I gotta make the most of them! I move the Berserkers up ready to charge the Plaguecaster, and the Chaos Marines away from the Terminators to guarantee I score some primary. Straight into the fight phase, I successfully slay the Plaguecaster and score myself another 3 points on Assassinate! Although I fear it wasn’t enough. Let’s see the final scores!
Joe has proved today just how powerful Mortarion is, and how much of a walking tank the Death Guard legion are. Those Stench Vats on the Foul Blightspawn meant I really struggled to be able to make any viable charges this game, and Joe made sure to maximise it’s efficiency. Overall, as much as I love the Scorpion, he just still isn’t worth it. His damage output is great, but paying 525 points for a model that dies incredibly quickly to most anti tank attacks is just too much of a price to pay. Thanks to Joe for the game, and hope you enjoyed reading!
Well, we both said this game was going to be the clash of the titans, and what a clash it was. Oddly, the Khorne unit was the one that did all the damage in shooting, whilst taking most of it’s damage in melee… Oh well, at least he died worshipping Khorne!
Again I’m incredibly pleased with how the Deathguard play. I love the resilience and the toolbox nature of play that their strategems give them. I’m still amazed the Tallyman works in both command phases, as it essentially gives you another 5cp to play with almost guaranteed…
The current state of Heretic Astartes is sad, as Liam’s berserkers simply can’t compete with only 1 wound per model. I am interested to see where they go soon with the reworked legion traits coming in the next supplement book!